The 2007 Market Awards: Elite -- Sybase

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There's nothing we love more than a thriving CRM implementation. Some projects, however, stand out--not for the technology involved (though we applaud innovation), not for the money saved (though we celebrate savings), and not for the efficiencies achieved (though we believe in synergy). Our 2007 Elite winners stand out because they embody the best of CRM at the enterprise, midmarket, and small-business levels--making the most of technology to enable sales, marketing, and service to fulfill the promise to the customer. SYBASE The right information at the right time, with Eloqua and Salesforce.com.
Eighty-five percent of technology buyers want information that is relevant to where they are in the purchasing cycle, according to a recent Marketing Sherpa study. Few companies are more cognizant of that stat than Sybase, a global provider of enterprise software to manage and mobilize data. Technology sales cycles are long and they are often governed by committees--not just by purchasing managers. Technology companies must know how to identify and communicate with the decision-makers. "To do that, you really have to have technology assistance," says Jackie Kiley, Sybase's director of corporate marketing. "People need to be able to produce those nurturing programs that are relevant to the technology buy." A nurturing program ensures that customers receive the appropriate information at the appropriate time in their purchasing cycles. That requires a keen knowledge both of the customer and of that customer's particular preferences for receiving information--as well as a good sense of what information will be most relevant when. Those who are simply making inquiries rarely need--and typically don't want--the intense level of detail and communication with vendor companies as those who are close to making a purchase. Until this year, Sybase's sales and marketing teams had limited visibility across data that showed where their prospects and customers were in the buying cycle. "Journey" is the term Kiley uses to describe her company's move from its legacy stovepipe systems to the integrated sales-and-marketing solution in place today. Now, with the ability to see customer records and details of marketing campaigns across the organization, the teams can design campaigns tailored to what they know about their customers and the customers' place in the sales cycle. Best of all, they can now track customer responses and activities. Sybase uses Eloqua for marketing and Salesforce.com for sales. But it is the intersection of the two, Kiley says, "where you really try to close the loop." She adds, "What you're really talking about is tracking all the information on sales activity from start to close." The sales department had been using Salesforce.com for some time and was aware that it was highly configurable. Sybase customized and integrated Salesforce.com with Eloqua to ensure that members of its marketing teams and its sales teams had complete visibility across marketing campaigns--from customer inquiries through customer sales. Both systems also supported localization mechanisms--critical for a global firm like Sybase--that allowed the teams to generate campaigns in the local language. Work on marketing campaigns typically starts in Salesforce.com. The sales team enters details on customers and campaigns that can be pulled into Eloqua for analysis. Eloqua provides a customizable rules-based system for parsing information, allowing Sybase's marketing department to differentiate whether a contact is an inquiry or has been generated by a lead. Then different processes kick in. "Salesforce takes the blueprint," Kiley says. "Eloqua takes the information and allows you to build your marketing campaign." That might include email with targeted content and landing pages. Information on customers' responses to offers--such as whether they click through to landing pages or request additional information--is captured by the system and used to nurture contacts from mere inquiries into prospects, and from there to become customers. Since the rollout of the new integrated system last spring, Sybase has seen an 85 percent reduction in the cost of acquiring customers and "growth at the top of the funnel," Kiley says. Credit goes to the increased visibility that the integrated system delivers. "When you're focused on a thing and you watch it and it works for you, great. If you see that it's not working, you can change it," Kiley says. "Now we can see exactly what's going on. In our old world, we couldn't." Real Results -- Sybase
  • 100 percent adoption of the solution by sales and marketing enabled integrated campaigns, customized to each customer's place in the buying cycle;
  • more than 25 percent growth in Sybase's marketing database;
  • a 50 percent increase in customer attendance at corporate marketing events;
  • an 85 percent reduction in the cost of converting leads to prospects and prospects to customers; and
  • significant reductions in the cost of connecting with the channel.
--Carol Ellison
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